Church Planting

Are You Willing to Fail Forward?

fail

I must be doing something wrong,” she thought. They had been working for almost ten years in a restricted access nation. They’d pressed through to learn the language, worked hard to build relationships and led a few people to the Lord. Talking with a key church planting movement mentor she asked, “What are we doing wrong? I thought by now we would have seen hundreds of groups/churches begin!

The mentor carefully listened to them describe their disciple making activity. Then he said, “You aren’t doing anything wrong. Movements take time. This mentor had coached well-known movement leaders. They had started thousands and thousands of churches, pioneering the largest movements in history to date. He knew what he was talking about. read more

Multiply and Increase…Everything!

multiply everything

In recent weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with people. The topic of tracking has surfaced more than once. Is it biblical?

Tracking numbers and setting goals can feel like it isn’t relational. While the feeling is real, it doesn’t need to be true. We can be both relational and also track fruitfulness. Led by the Holy Spirit and deeply dependent on Him, we can set goals and evaluate progress while still valuing each individual involved.

Admittedly, some people swing one way or the other. Many leaders don’t hold this tension well. We tend to err on one side or the other. Sometimes we say we don’t care about results at all- “God knows my heart and how much I want to see people saved! That is enough.” It sounds spiritual, but is it? read more

Motivation #3- A Biblical Understanding of the Priesthood of All

priesthood

What is the primary reason the Great Commission task is not yet finished?” I asked this question to a group of students this week. Many different answers surfaced. None of them matched my own. I believe the main reason we haven’t yet made disciples of all nations is related to the priesthood of all believers. In elevating professional pastors, we have somehow overshadowed a powerful truth. Jesus died to make everyone a priest of God. There are no more high and low castes. Everyone who follows Jesus is fully empowered to do the work of the Kingdom. Disciple-making Movements embrace this. read more

Is Your Motivation Going to Get You to DMM?

motivation for DMM

Thousands of new churches rapidly starting…a Jesus movement sweeping through…bringing transformation! Our hearts are stirred. We want to be a part. “It would be so amazing if that could happen in my area,” we think.

After a few months (or years) of effort, things may not be happening quite as you expected. You’ve prayed, fasted, shared the gospel often, but not yet seen breakthrough.

Maybe a few have believed, some groups started (and maybe not lasted). Where is that rapid, incredible experience you thought was coming? In these times, we must examine our motivation for pursuing a DMM in the first place. read more

4 Important Ways to Develop a Strong Missional Movement

missional

A recent editorial by Mark Galli of Christianity Today addressed the purpose of the church. Some theologians say, “Wherever the church exists, it exists for the sake of the world.”[1] Should this be true of the house churches we start? The movements we launch?

Perhaps Galli is attempting to pull us back from a doing theology to one that is more about being. I can appreciate that. What I don’t agree with is a rejection of the church’s missional purpose.

In Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) we must be very intentional about staying outwardly focused. This is especially true as we begin to grow and multiply. It’s not uncommon for churches and growing movements to drift toward an internal focus. read more

Ways to Develop a Healthy House Church Community

church community

You meet every week for worship, prayer, and study. Is your house church healthy? Under the surface, there seem to be tensions. Relationships don’t go very deep, and resentments mount between some members. A few people are close friends, others feel excluded. Some have stopped coming who initially seemed interested. You wonder why.

In previous blogs I wrote about the elements and activities of a church; things like worship, giving, baptism, Lord’s supper, etc. A healthy house church maintains a balance between its internal and external focus. The sense of community and fellowship within the church needs to consistently deepen. read more

Am I an Insider or an Outsider?

insider

He looked like an “insider.” His hair was black, his skin brown. When he wore a kurtah shirt and walked down the street, he looked like an Indian. He had even picked up some Hindi language skills. My friend Jordan* was definitely not an insider though! He had been raised in America by adoptive parents. Though born in India, he was definitely an outsider. Movements that grow rapidly are led by insiders. Who is an insider? Who is an outsider? This week’s blog explains the difference and why it matters. read more

5 Principles for Offerings in House Churches

offerings

Money can easily destroy a life…or a movement. A few days ago I was talking to another Disciple Making Movement trainer. In the course of our conversation, I blurted out, “I think we have killed as many movements as we have started.” It is not difficult to destroy a budding movement. Money can be a major movement killer. Or, if offerings are handled well, they can greatly help it grow.

The early church struggled with money issues too. In 1st Timothy, Paul (the trainer) writes to his trainee Timothy. He warns him of two big problems that come in a growing movement; false teaching and money problems. It is in this context that we find the well-known phrase, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Tim. 6:10) read more

How to Increase Awareness of a More Biblical Understanding of Church

church

Is what we are doing really a church? I thought churches were buildings with crosses on top. Don’t we need to have a pastor? And a pulpit?” These are typical questions people ask when we talk about multiplying house churches. We must help new believers understand what the church is.

This is much easier to do after they’ve experienced church life together. For most, it is a significant paradigm shift to understand that the church is not a building. Without a deep change in this kind of thinking, the movement will struggle to grow. read more

How to Introduce the Concept of Church

church

Many people who come to our discovery home groups would never enter a church building. As a devout Muslim, they may be afraid of what their relatives would say if they saw them go to a “church.” They may have attended church at some point and had a bad experience. People want to know God, but some have little interest in organized religion.

Introducing the concept of church in your home group is important in launching a Disciple Making Movement. After people have committed to following Jesus, move them gently toward becoming a body of believers. read more